I spent a little bit of time looking at cabins for sale in the mountains this week. It's been months since I last did this, and I certainly wasn't looking with any particular seriousness this time around. But it's still entertaining to see what is available and imagining moving out to the middle of the woods. The past couple of weeks have been disappointing and frustrating for me, and the mountains have always brought me a sense of comfort and peace which I do not find elsewhere. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to take a few days off and visit my place of retreat right now. So what is it about the mountains that I can't find elsewhere?
Most people who celebrate the winter holidays here in the US will probably agree that sending and receiving greeting cards has decreased during the past decade or so. While I was growing up, my parents would hang the Christmas cards people sent us along the base of the railing around our stairwell. Nowadays, they receive only a handful of cards, barely enough to frame a quarter of the stairs. We also send out far fewer. I used to send cards out to the friends I met at summer camp, but with the creation of social media platforms, such as Facebook, many of us no longer exchange mailing addresses and convert our correspondence to digital formats.
Recently, I have been reading two different books on the same subject. Both are memoirs in the form of short stories. One author started publishing his books (I've only been reading one at this time) after approximately two decades of experience. The other published after five years. For someone interested in the topic, both books are entertaining, but I find much more satisfaction in the storytelling of the elder writer. His writing has a beautifully reflective quality that results in a wonderful sense of humor, irony, and spirituality. I do not mean to say the younger writer's stories are not enlightening, but his storytelling does show his comparative youth. His focus gets wrapped up in the excitement of first time experiences and the relevant facts as to why these instances during his career brought him such joy. In essence, he is an adventurous nerd.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent several days with my DSLR camera, enjoying the spring weather and searching out wildflowers and migrating birds. I've captured some beautiful shots, found birds I don't often get a chance to photograph, and come across some things I had not thought to see at all.
Some of my camera walks I've done as part of my job and so had been allowed to spend office hours reviewing and editing those photos. And during that time, I realized why I have a bad habit of putting off photo editing. Even if a day's set is well-composed and requires little time per photo during editing, it is still a very time-consuming process for me. And that can be quite frustrating.